Condor, an extremely rich company, is aggressively exploiting workers through their disgracefully exploitative employment contracts. The transport workers’ union RMT has campaigned tirelessly against these ‘ships of shame’.
“Condor Ferries pay ratings [non-commissioned merchant navy workers] below the national minimum wage, do not provide a pension scheme and do not recognise trade unions, whilst their current owners, Macquarie Investment bank of Australia, rake in rising profits and dividends.”
Maritime workers have not been taking this lying down and have engaged in a heroic and protracted struggle with the help of the RMT. These workers are fighting for the dignity of labour.
Brexit means that Britain will soon have to renegotiate many, if not all, existing and new contracts with ferry companies. RMT general secetary Mick Cash has said:
“There has been a barrage of publicity around the government’s Brexit ferry contracts, and the union has written to both Chris Grayling, who is in control of the arrangements, and the companies involved demanding basic assurances on GB ratings jobs, union recognition and full compliance with GB employment laws.
“RMT has no intention of allowing any backsliding, or any stitch-ups of UK seafarers, and that is why we are making our position public … We will not allow the scandal of the Ships of Shame in British waters, where poverty pay below the minimum wage and shocking working conditions are endemic.”
Only a workers’ government – a dictatorship of the proletariat (working class) – can assure that post-Brexit Britain serves the working people of Britain and gives them a decent and culturally enriched life. Since a revolution does not appear to be imminently on the cards, the working class must militantly struggle to ensure:
1) We get the Brexit that the majority of the British people voted for.
2) Workers must not suffer cuts and attacks that are falsely blamed upon Brexit, ‘uncertainty over Brexit’, etc.
3) We must fight for socialism; the capitalist system will continue to attack the wages of workers regardless of Brexit.
In solidarity with Maritime RMT, Sussex Worker, a branch of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), supports the demands of the union:
– A living wage employer (£9.75ph), as a minimum on lifeline Channel Island ferry services.
– Recognition for the RMT to collectively bargain for seafarer ratings.
– All ferries to be fully crewed up with GB ratings.
– Recognition of GB trade unions.
– GB employment laws to be fully complied with.